Monday, July 4, 2016

My Great Great Grandfather John Wright (my mother's side)

This history is gleened from Family Serch.  It is funny how the Civil War effected those not serving and sometimes across an ocean.  John Wright could not work because of the war, and the cotton embargo.  He determined to come to America as a result.

History of John Wright Sr. and Charlotte Smith

Biography of John Wright and Charlotte Smith Written by a Grand daughter, Mary Lim ................................................................................................................................................ Days were getting cool and stormy and the harvest days were almost over for another season in the farming districts of England. William Wright had worked hard and long during the summer months, but now it was forgotten; for a time of great rejoicing had come to the Wright home. Rejoicing occurred one bleak morning, Oct. 8, 1831, when a son was born to William and his wife Catherine, in the little town of Thorney, Cambridge, England. He was christened John, according to the order in the Church of England. In his youth, John attended school and was required to pay two pence each week for his tuition. Often his parents were unable to raise this amount and that week John was to remain at home. At an early age he worked on the farm. When fourteen years old, he was let out as an apprentice to learn the mason trade. Two years later he was able to hire out as a mason and make a fairly good living at this trade. When a young man of nineteen years of age he (John Wright)1 was engaged and soon married Charlotte Smith in Winwick, Huntingtonshire, England in 1850. She (Charlotte)1 was the daughter of John3 and Hanna Sutton Smith.2 She (Charlotte)1 was born March 21, 1830. Four years later (following their marriage)1 on February 5, 1854, they (John and Charlotte)1 were both baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by Elder Moses McHarms; and confirmed by Elder Joseph B. Richmond. In 1858, John and Charlotte, with their little two year old son Hyrum, moved to Bowlingbrook, Lincolnshire, England where the father (John)1 secured work in a cotton factory. Months slipped by and each day found a more urgent need for John to work many long hours at the factory. He received but a small wage, far too small to support the family, for a new member had been added to the family circle, a second son, named John for his father. The Civil War was raging between the North and the South in the United States. The English manufacturers and merchants, as well as the English working people were depending on the Southern States cotton for their means of support. The war was greatly crippling their industries. By 1862, the North had completely blockaded the sending of cotton to England, and in turn England was unable to send to the Southern States much needed war supplies. Many factories were closed as a result. A cotton famine was experienced and the working people of Lincolnshire were soon near starvation and very poorly clad. During the severe cold of the winter months; men, women and children suffered, almost beyond endurance. Among those suffering was the John Wright family. As soon as transportation was available and John could make the necessary arrangements, he moved his family to Liverpool, arriving there in 1863. From there John was soon hopeful of sailing to America. The war had caused many changes. Although it did not as severely affect Lancashire as Lincolnshire it took John some time to make more than a mere living for his family. In 1866 the long awaited dreams of John and Charlotte were realized when the missionaries helped to make it possible for them to migrate under the Perpetual Emigrating Fund. How busy they were preparing and packing for the long journey westward. Certain necessities must be taken, such as clothing, bedding, eating and cooking utensils. Many cherished possessions were left behind, for each family was allowed to take only a certain number of pounds (weight)1. While Charlotte was packing John was busy rushing about getting a date for sailing. Each head of the family had to pay one pound (money)1 and fill out an application stating his age and occupation and the ages and names of each of his family members. During all the worry and bustle of the past three years a new baby made her appearance in the Wright home. A lovely little daughter and sister, greatly loved and adored by the happy parents as well as the little brothers. The day before sailing John, now thirty-five; his wife Charlotte, thirty-six; Hyrum, ten; John Jr., seven; and the baby named Selena,4 not yet three, boarded the ship, ”Onkwright”. After a nights rest they began sailing out upon the deep Atlantic. For almost eight weeks the ship glided over the rippling waters on some days, while on others it was tossed about by the angry waves amid storms of wind and rain. Each night all knelt in prayer meeting, which added faith and courage to the spirit of sailing. Measles broke out on the ship and the Wright children contracted them. How happy the emigrants were when they arrived at Castle Gardens and went on a tug boat to the shores of New York City. After a short rest they traveled on the railroad to Omaha, Nebraska. While at Omaha their little girl (Selena)1 died, the mother holding the dead child sitting in the shelter of some trees until morning. She was buried in the shallow grave by the wayside. ........................................................Continued in part 2........................................................ Life Story of John Wright, Sr. and Charlotte Smith (Part 2) Contributed By KarrieSweat · 2013-09-24 16:09:55 GMT+0000 (UTC) · 0 Comments With heavy hearts, the Wrights were assigned to travel to Utah in Andrew H. Scott’s company. The day after their baby was placed in mother earth. The trip across the plains was hot and sultry, but still they marched on. It was October 8th when they arrived in Zion and two days later John with his family were on their way thirty six miles southward to Pleasant Grove, where they found rest and shelter with Charlotte’s mother, who had emigrated there five years previous, with her husband. The Wright’s first home in Utah was a one room dug out, with a willow and dirt roof. After a short time, the family moved into a one room log cabin. John worked at a sawmill up American Fork canyon. He also sold lumber logs to the settlers, hauling it by a span of mules. While living in Pleasant Grove, two more children were born; James Thomas and Hattie. John bought land out in Stringtown. Much hard work was required before he could raise a good crop. The first he tried was grain and sugar cane. In 1871, John had built a dug out on the farm and moved his wife and four children to this new adobe house, as he was a good mason. He hauled sand and clay, built molds and made his own adobes. Although costing but little, no mansion was more homely or appreciated more. With the help of the boys, their father plowed, planted, weeded and irrigated. Then came Fall and harvest time. All the family help gather and store for the severe winter ahead. After the crops were in, John was off to the canyon to et fuel for winter use. He cut and hauled ties for the railroad in the winter months. When Bishop John Brown called for men and teams to haul granite from the canyon for the Salt Lake Temple, John was one who volunteered to go and do his share toward the completion of this marvelous structure. In 1875, John joined the United Order in Pleasant Grove, putting all he had into this common store house, both in crops and cash, with charitable and unselfish heart. John was willing to share. Doing a kind deed for the less fortunate was found his greatest joy. The purpose of the order was to gather and store together thus mingling as one large family. As time went on, this plan proved unsatisfactory, so the idea was abandoned in 1879, five years after it was organized with very little to turn back to its members. When the third school house was remodeled, John worked as mason and plasterer. Many other homes and buildings in Pleasant Grove and the surrounding settlements were erected and plastered by him. The Wright family did their part while assisting to build up this common wealth, both by labor and means: in fostering educational, co-operative, and industrial undertakings in all civil and religious affairs. Letitia (Letishia) was the youngest child born to the John Wright family. John served as a Ward Missionary under Bishop John, as a ward teacher for many years. He was ordained a High Priest in 1891, by Bishop James Cobbley of the Lindon ward. He was a progressive farmer, ever trusting in God for his successful life, feeling that trough Divine Guidance he was able to earn a good livelihood for his family. John and Charlotte lived together 43 years in peace and happiness. Then one beautiful spring morning at the early age of 62, he passed to the great beyond, May 9, 1893. A good night to friends and loved ones Near, through the eye cannot see. Just one from the scene of this earth life To peacefully rest in eternity. Notes: by Mike Harris pertain to part 1 only. 1.Italicized names and parentheses are added to clarify meaning. 2. Smith, Hannah Sutton 106806 b. Mar. 10, 1800 d. Jun. 15, 1868 Pleasant Grove City Cemetery 3. Smith, John 106805 b. Aug. 4, 1795 d. Oct. 16, 1862 Pleasant Grove City Cemetery 4. ( Family Group Record indicates this may have been Sarah Ann born in 1864) Notes: In the original history there were pages missing. These pages have been added by Karie Sweat as part 2. Arlene Juber Harris also had a complete copy which contained the name of the author which was previously unknown. Thank You Karrie and Arlene. Family group records also indicate that there were 12 Children born to Charlotte and John prior to the departure to America in 1866. All but 3 of the children had likely died. Some of the children are missing death dates and probably died shortly after birth or may have been still born. Some of the names are repeated and should be checked for accuracy. John Wright and John Jr. are both listed in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Pioneer Index. These histories may be on file with the DUP in their histories collections.